Water-based vs. oil-based deck sealant

Written by nichole liandi
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Water-based vs. oil-based deck sealant
(Deck de Madeira image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com)

Sealing your deck should be a regular part of your home maintenance routine. A deck that is not sealed, or whose sealant has degraded, is much more prone to damage from rain, snow and sun than a deck that has been sealed. When sealing a deck, the homeowner has a choice of two types of sealants -- oil-based, or water-based. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Application and Cleanup

There's no particular difference in the application of water-based stains versus oil-based stains. Both are applied directly to the deck with a brush or roller. Cleaning up is a little different for each. Brushes used when applying water-based stains can be cleaned easily with soap and water, while oil-based staining equipment cleanup requires the use of paint thinner.


Water-based stains get the nod here. A water-based stain, properly applied needs only to be redone every five to six years. Oil-based stains don't have the same durability. Typically you'll need to redo the job every two to three years.

Environmental Effects

Water-based stains are becoming much more common than oil-based stains, in part because of environmental concerns. Oil-based stains, paints and other such materials have been linked to air pollution and they must be disposed of properly.

Drying Time

Another edge for water-based stains. They dry much more quickly. In most cases, a water-based stain is dry and ready for use in six to eight hours. Recommended drying times for oil-based stains are up to an entire day.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.